Selecting the Optimum Dune Height for Panama City Beaches, Florida

by Cheryl Phanstiel Ulrich, U.S. Army Engineer District, Mobile, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Beach Nourishment Engineering and Management Considerations


The Panama City Beaches, Florida, study area is located in the northwest Florida panhandle between Philips Inlet and the Panama City Harbor entrance channel. Currently the area has an authorized project with a protective beach to elevation 4 ft National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD), a storm berm to elevation 7 ft NGVD, and an artificial dune having a top width of 30 ft at elevation 15 ft NGVD which has not been constructed. Due to the now anachronistic data used in the formulation efforts in the March 1976 Feasibility Study, significant changes in policy resulting from the 1986 and 1988 Water Resources Development Acts, and advances in the coastal engineering field, a reformulation effort is being performed to determine the optimum project for this area. This paper describes the process of selecting the optimum dune heights for Panama City Beaches, Florida. Various alternatives investigated with their associated costs and benefits are reviewed. An outline of the process for selecting the alternative which maximizes the net economic benefits is included which identifies the National Economic Development Plan.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Dunes | Developing countries | Coastal management | Water resources | Beaches | Beach protection and nourishment | Florida | United States | Panama | Central America

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